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Simple Trees

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  • tree2
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There are a few ways to make scale trees; I hope to be able to show you a one of them. This will make a simple tree using items that are quite easy to get hold off and donít break the bank.

The base for the trees is plants know as "Sea Foam" which is available from model railroad shops and suppliers. See picture [tree1.jpg]

As you can see from the picture sea foam on its own looks like small scale trees, but looks a little plain and boring when placed on a base as it comes out of the box. So to give it some life we add spice. See picture [tree2.jpg]

Readily available in most stores (or your moms/wifeís kitchen), dried spices are a cheap method of creating scale leaves. By using a spray adhesive they can be easily attached to the branches of sea foam. See picture [tree3.jpg]

To attach the spices to the sea foam, spray the sea foam with the spray adhesive; ideally spray over some old newspaper and in the garage out of the way. See picture [tree3A.jpg] Sprinkle the spices over the tree foam, do this over a sheet of paper so you can reuse the spices that fall off. See picture [tree 3B.jpg] Keep going spinning the sea foam around until the whole of the sea foam is covered with the spice. See picture [ 3C.jpg]

Once you have given the sea foam a good coat of the spice give it a coat of matt Varnish. This will help seal the spices and remove the stickiness of the spray adhesive. Then leave to dry over night. See picture [3D.jpg]

After the varnish has dried give the sea foam and spices a good coat of a PVA glue/ Water mix (use a spray bottle) then leave to dry.† When drying I usually peg them upside down on some string strung across the garage over night. You can use various different spices to give your trees a varied look :

  • Parsley : See picture [tree4.jpg]
  • Thyme : See picture [tree5.jpg]
  • Oregano : See picture [tree6.jpg]

  • These are just three of the spices I had to hand when I tried this method they look good on there own but when combined together......See picture [tree7.jpg]

    you get a miniature forest.See picture [tree8.jpg] See picture [tree9.jpg]

    All that needs to be done is to add them to your base by drilling a small hole then filling it with glue and placing the miniature tree into it. Don't forget to paint the trees when painting the base as the spices will go brown if not painted over time.

    So there you go how to add some intresting back drops to your Dioramas using simple products.

    Happy Modelling

    Keith Forsyth
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    About the Author

    About Keith Forsyth (docdios)

    Keith Forsyth (docdios) comes from the small town of Stafford in the United Kingdom. He began his interest in modeling at an early age with armor being the main focus. It was not until finding himself between jobs in 1995 that he really got hooked. It was during a shopping visit to another town when...


    Once again a nice simple technique.... and cheap too!
    AUG 09, 2005 - 10:45 PM
    nice idea there.... now I have something new to add to my shopping (wish) list.. the wife is prob going to laugh when she sees the words sea foam......... :-)
    AUG 10, 2005 - 12:33 AM
    I have used this technique many times and can suggest three more bits of detail: a) go to a large florist dept in an arts and crafts store - you will find the sea foam (along with many other varieties of possible trees) at a far cheaper price then the hobby store prices for the same thing b) for the spray adhesive, try the Scotch 3M - Sticky Mount Spray, sold in almost any craft store or office supply store. Be sure to do it outdoors however, as the stuff tends to drift in the air, and can get everwhere! c) once your tree is complete, hit it with a final spray of ModelMaster #1960 flat spray, which will "seal" the tree and stop it from being sticky... that way dust won't adhere to it when your finished peice is sitting on the shelf!
    AUG 15, 2005 - 05:41 AM
    Does 'sea foam' have another name in Canada or US? I've never heard of anything refferred to as such. I regularly check out the dried flower sections and have never seen anything resembling this. Certainly looks interesting.
    AUG 17, 2005 - 01:26 AM
    I answered my own question (artemisia versicolor), and while 'Googling' sea foam, found a very interesting site in Antenociti's Workshop at LINK Instructions, tips, and lots of reference pics of more trees than you can shake a stick at :-) :-) :-) .
    AUG 17, 2005 - 04:00 AM
    very nice tree's, the only problem I have with parsley is that over time it turns very yellow as do tea leaves. Have you had this problem yet?
    FEB 24, 2008 - 10:39 AM
    The link doesnt seem to work for me( Can anyone gimme the actual web address please?
    FEB 24, 2008 - 12:27 PM
    That's a really old feature. I looked for it, but couldn't find it. Here are some alternatives Feature 1 Feature 2 Feature 3
    FEB 24, 2008 - 11:10 PM
    Scott, I think it was "Feature 2" that actually was behind the link "Simple Trees"
    FEB 25, 2008 - 04:11 AM
    That's good to know Danny. I guess through server moves the feature id was changed - no problem as long as the content didn't dissapear. Thanks for checking it out..
    FEB 25, 2008 - 07:19 AM